As of July 6th, APS offices are open to staff and invited visitors. The Society will remain closed to the public for at least the rest of the summer. Library & Museum staff now have access to our collections and will respond to reference and photoduplication requests as soon as possible. However, please note that response times may be delayed due to increased demand. The Society will continue a robust slate of virtual programs throughout the summer and fall. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. For further information on the APS reopening and its COVID response, please click here.

What we think of today as “science” was called “natural philosophy” in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Benjamin Franklin and his fellow APS Members engaged in a variety of philosophical (scientific) endeavors, such as observing the transit of Venus, experimenting with electricity, and exploring uncharted territories.

Their discoveries had many practical uses. They also helped to counter the widespread belief that Americans were intellectually inferior to Europeans. The APS created important networks for its gentleman-scholars, and helped to spread their ideas and discoveries around the world.